M. Roy Wilson/View from the Chair



Taking Nothing for Granted


Everyone knows by now how I feel about our chances of having probation lifted by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). I’m firmly optimistic. I believe in this institution and in the people who work here. Yet, we cannot take anything for granted. 


Consider last week’s news from the University of California at Riverside. Pending initial accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), they planned to enroll the first 50 students at their new medical school next summer. In a decision that surprised a lot of people, and for reasons outside the control of UC Riverside, LCME denied their request for initial accreditation.


I am rooting for our counterparts in Riverside. They have worked hard to develop a high-quality program and the region would benefit from having a medical school. For us, their experience serves as a cautionary note. In just eight days, I will be accompanied by David Carlisle, M.D., Ph.D., the incoming president; Richard Baker, M.D., provost and dean, College of Medicine;  Ron Lau, Ph.D., vice president of Finance; and Ron Edelstein, Ed.D, dean, Academic Affairs to the WASC meeting in Oakland. We must do everything possible to assure a positive outcome.


I remain optimistic. But I assure you that we will not take anything for granted. We will prepare and we will tell the Drew story.


Carlisle’s Transition


Dr. David Carlisle, who assumes his duties as president on July 1, stopped by the office last week to meet with student leaders. Over pizza and sodas, they discussed the university’s academic plans for students, as well as how to improve the on-campus experience for students.


In coming weeks, Thuy Nguyen, the student representative on the Board of Trustees, will be a more frequent presence in the Office of the President. Ms. Nguyen, who’s enrolled in the post-baccalaureate program in the College of Science and Health, will be helping Dr. Carlisle and others remain mindful of student issues as he transitions into a new role.   

Faculty Awards


Sondos Islam, Ph.D and Vidya Kaushik, M.D. were honored with top awards from the Academic Senate. (See story below)


Dr. Islam, who directs the master of public health program in the College of Science and Health, received the “Outstanding Professor Award.” This award recognizes excellence in teaching, research clinical service or community services.


Dr. Kaushik, a longtime professor in the College of Medicine, was chosen for the “Outstanding Service Award.” The prize is given to those for dedicated service to the university.


Both represent the best qualities in our faculty. I’m proud of their achievement. We’re very fortunate to have such outstanding professors—and people—at this university, and I’m happy to be associated with them.


Dr. Wilson chairs the university's board of trustees.



Scenes from Graduation

A graduate brimming with joy after receiving her degree. .

A happy moment at graduation.

A graduate posing for a portrait and holding their degree.


Awards, Medals, Honors and Scholarships

A listing of recent winners, including students and faculty:



Vivian Ogueli (Post-Baccalaureate)

Dr. M. Alfred Haynes Endowed Scholarship-An award established to honor its namesake, who is president emeritus at the university and was a pioneer in addressing racial disparities. 


College of Science and Health

Janelle Rodriguez (Post-Baccalaureate) and
Vivian Ogueli (Post-Baccalaureate)
Dr. Charles W. Buggs Award-The highest award presented to the graduate who has maintained the highest grade point average while exemplifying competence and compassion. A listing of recent winners, including students and faculty.

Helen Redmond (Master of Public Health)
Dr. Raymond Kivel Award-To the graduating senior whose community service has shown an extraordinary commitment to delivering health care in medically underserved communities.

Janelle Rodriguez (Post-Baccalaureate)
Dr. Jack Mitchell Award-To the graduating senior who has demonstrated leadership among his or her peers in university activities and in providing health care to community residents.

Rodney Mills (Health Information Technology)
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Award-To the graduating senior who has shown persistence in the face of adversity.

Eylin Cerritos (Post-Baccalaureate)
Geraldine Burton Branch Award-To the student applicant who exemplifies potential to build, shape or improve the overall health of underserved communities, and a commitment to their program and the College of Science and Health.

College of Medicine

Andrew Scott
Dr. Charles Drew Award-The highest award presented to a graduate who has most exemplified compassion and academic excellence over all years of training.

Sabin Dang
Dr. Mitchell Spellman Award-To the graduate who demonstrated unique and noteworthy achievement outside normal course work.

Patricia Mayorquin
Dr. Geraldine Burton-Branch Award-To the graduate with outstanding performance in the primary care course over the clinical years.

Edward Seungse Lee
Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay Award-To the graduate who most exemplifies excellence in community service and/or public health.

Ngozi Chukwu
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award-To the graduate who most exemplifies peer support and advocacy.

Leticia Campbell
Dr. Rebecca Lee Award-To the graduate who best exemplifies an excellence performance despite adverse circumstances.

Ricardo Salas
Cesar E. Chavez Award

Richard Feng
Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award-To the student who demonstrates outstanding compassion, as well as clinical excellence.

Chrystina Jeter
College of Medicine Dean's Awards of Excellence

Student Thesis Awards

1. Ricardo Salas
Predictors of Harmful Drinking Among Latino Day Laborers (Mentor: Frank Galvan, Ph.D)

2. Jonce Michelle Taylor
The Role of Mammography Screening, Age and Race/Ethnicity in Breast Cancer Stage at Diagnosis in Underserved Populations (Mentors: Magda Shaheen, M.D., Ph.D; Kenneth E. Wolf, Ph.D; Hezla Mohamed, M.D.)

3. Mark Lin
Ethnicity and its Impact on Mortality in Patients with Major Depression and Diabetes (Mentor: David W. Hindman, Ph.D)

Faculty Awards

Stanley H. Hsia, M.D.
Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award-To the faculty member who demonstrates outstanding compassion and clinical excellence.  

Dr. Madeleine Valencerina
Best Rotation Director

Dr. Daphne Calmes
Most Dedicated

Dr. Madeleine Valencerina
Outstanding Clinical Faculty

Lesley K. Vizcarra
The staff member who has gone above and beyond their job description to help the Class of 2011



Academic Senate Honors a Pair of Professors

Sondos Islam

A professor who helped her students through extraordinary effort, and a retired faculty member who serves on the Board of Trustees won coveted awards this year from the  Academic Senate. 

Sondos Islam, Ph.D., who has directed the Master of Public Health program since its inception, won the "Outstanding Professor Award."

Vidya Kaushik, M.D., a retired professor and noted cardiologist who serves as a faculty representative on the Board of Trustees, was chosen for the "Outstanding Service Award."

Vidya Kaushik
The awards reflect their "quality of dedication," Mohsen Bazargan, Ph.D., president of the Academic Senate said of the professors.

Dr. Islam directed 10 students through their thesis project, which Dr. Bazargan described as "fantastic." Dr. Islam was nominated by four students, he said.

"I am truly humbled and very grateful to all who voted for me to receive this year's CDU faculty award," Dr. Islam said. "Being recognized for my work at CDU is a great honor, and only makes me want to work harder to achieve our mission, and to give our students the best possible education."

Dr. Kaushik. who has been previously recognized for his work by the Academic Senate, chairs the finance committee on the board. He has been teaching at the university for more than 30 years, yet appears on campus frequently as though he never left.

"He can give you a stress test and tell you how much money you have donated to CDU," Dr. Bazargan said jokingly. 

"I am sincerely honored and humbled to be singled out, by my peers, for this recognition," Dr. Kaushik said, who added that the entire faculty should be honored for doing yeoman's work in preparing for a successful site visit from an accreditation agency.

"I earnestly thank the CDU family for giving me the opportunity to pursue my passion for volunteering at Drew. I get my thrills from the day-to-day  interactions with the administration, faculty and staff, so any award is icing on the cake for me."

Remembering the Toll of HIV/AIDS

Cynthia Davis, a CDU assistant professor who was a pioneer for HIV/AIDS mobile testing in Los Angeles, was prominently featured during an event marking an anniversary for the virus.

"The Remember AIDS Event: A Moving Tribute to Mark 30 Years of HIV" was held this month in West Hollywood. Nearly 200 people joined the AIDS Healthcare Foundation at a candlelight vigil and marched along West Hollywood Boulevard, raising awareness of HIV's discovery three decades ago.

Cynthia Davis speaking at the AIDS event
"Those of us in the field have fought a Herculean battle for 30 years," said Mrs. Davis, domestic vice chair, Board of Directors, AIDS Healthcare Foundation. In the fight against AIDS, she added, "We have had many victories and defeats."

At West Hollywood Park, where the march ended, crowds watched a school of names of people who have died from the virus. Also, a video that highlighted key moments in the history of AIDS played on a large video screen, as a vocalist sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Mrs. Davis added of those living with HIV, "There is no better time, as we mark 30 years of AIDS, to recommit ourselves to saving as many of the 33 million lives as we can, and to ending AIDS."



Orthopaedic Mock Oral Board Certifying Examination Held at CDU

As a service to the local orthopaedic medical community, a mock oral board examination was conducted last Saturday at the College of Medicine.

All recognized fields of medicine require members to be deemed “board certified” through testing. This exam was designed to help practicing orthopaedic surgeons pass their oral board examinations, which are given annually in Chicago.

The day-long course was presented by current and former faculty of the Charles Drew Orthopaedic Surgery Department, as well as the J.R. Gladden Orthopaedic Society of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The examiners included Drs. Don Sanders, Clarence Woods, Darryl Willoughby, Stan Noel, Charles Herring and Anthony Fenison. The results will be known in about two months when test scores are released. Jerry Brown, P.A. and Lorriane Grey, who heads the Saturday Science Academy II, organized the event.

- By Eleby R. Washington III, M.D., chairman of the Orthopaedic Department at CDU, who served as an examiner during the mock session.  


News in Brief


A Social Justice Model for Health Disparities

"A Social Justice Model for Eliminating Health Disparities" will examine the connections between public health and social justice through global and local communities. The session, presented as part of a new series, will be held Sat., June 18 in Keck Lecture Hall on the university's campus, 1731 E. 120th St., Los Angeles. Rueben C. Warren, DDS, director, National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University and Linda Wallace Pate, Esq., a specialist in child foster care, will be the presenters. The moderator will be Samuel J. Shacks, Ph.D., M.D. The session is sponsored by the CDU Academic Senate Committee on Clinical and Community Programs. For more information, please call Cynthia Davis at 323-563-9309.  


Energy Medicine

"Energy Medicine," a complementary workshop on alternative medicine sponsored by the university, will be held Fri., June 17 for researchers, community members, doctors and others. Registration and breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m., followed at 9 a.m. by the workshop. The event ends at 4:30 p.m.  For more information, please contact Ruth Aguilar at ruthaguilar@cdrewu.edu or 323-563-5990 or Satyesh Sinha at satyeshsinha@cdrewu.edu or 323-563-5876.  


AIDS in Black L.A.

The State of AIDS in Black L.A. will be a critical conversation to re-raise the visibility and re-assess the impact of HIV in the black community. Discuss the broader landscape of the AIDS fight while addressing local barriers to prevention and treatment. Help construct a pathways toward local progress through coalitions, advocacy and civic engagement. The event, held Fri., June 24, is free. Sponsored by the university, Black AIDS Institute and UCLA Care Center, the session will be held on campus in Keck Lecture Hall, 1731 E. 120th St., Los Angeles. Please RSVP by email at programs@blackaids.org or by calling 877-757-AIDS.


Why Women Stop Using Condoms

Cafe Scientifique, a roundtable discussion with Nina T. Harawa, MPH, Ph.D. of CDU, will present: Reasons from the Heart: Why Women Stop Using Condoms." The session will be held Fri., June 24, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Cobb Building 281. The event is sponsored by CDU's Accelerating Excellence in Translational Science and Black Women for Wellness. Space is limited to 30 people so RSVP to David Doyen at daviddoyen@cdrewu.edu.


HIV Testing Day

Receive results from an HIV test in 20 minutes on June 27 during National HIV Testing Day. The testing, which does not require those examined to take needle shots, is free. Testing will be held at Pink Lotus Health Care, located at the corner of Vermont Avenue and Century Boulevard. Cynthia Davis, an assistant professor in the College of Science and Health, will be conducting tests while giving away free male and female condoms.  Held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the testing is sponsored by the university, Magic Johnson Foundation, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Pink Lotus Health Care. For more information, call Mrs. Davis at 323-563-9309.

Editor's Note: A power outage on Monday at the university helped delay this week's newletter.


Become a Mission Maker Today

The Mission Maker campaign has raised just over half of its $50,000 goal. If you would like to donate to the campaign, which supports the university, its mission and its students, then please contact Blanch Ross. She can be reached at 323-563-4992, or at blanchross@cdrewu.edu.  


Please send news items or comments by email to
newsletter@cdrewu.edu, or call 323-563-4983.


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Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 E. 120th St., Los Angeles, CA 90059

Phone: (323) 563-4800


Charles Drew University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution.  Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, Charles Drew University has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S., CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research. Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians, according to the Greenlining Institute.